Step 6 Duplicate the black solid and position the duplicate at the top of the layer stack. Drop in the ‘source-sd’ pre-comp you created in the previous step, and set the duplicate black solid to use this as a luma-matte. Using the Effect Controls panel, update the colours used in the tint to something contrasting.

Step 7 Finally, we need to add some detail, so drop in the original source-sd clip to the top of the layer stack and set the layer to use the Classic Difference (or Difference) layer blending mode. Reduce the opacity to around 50%.

Step 8 To finish up, add a black solid at the bottom of your layer stack – this will be the background. The watercolour texture looks very static so select it and choose Effects > Stylize > CC RepeTile. Increase the values for all four directions to at least 500, then Alt/Opt+Click on the position property for the layer and enter a wiggle value of 100,30 to automatically move the layer around, providing different texture backgrounds throughout.

Sam Hampton-Smith

Who: Sam is a designer and illustrator based in the cold bit of Scotland. He works in print and web design as well as in motion graphics. He is a frequent contributor to creative magazines. In his spare time Sam is an avid reader, musician and photographer. 
Software: Adobe After Effects
Time to complete: 3 hours

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